Support : Frequently Asked Questions
Support : Frequently Asked Questions

USB Flash Drives

Q: Why can't I have access to the advertised capacity of the USB Flash drive?
Q: How do I format the USB Flash drive?
Q: Why won't a drive letter show up in Windows XP for my USB Drive under "My Computer"?
Q: I have multiple USB ports in my computer, which port should I plug my USB Drive into?
Q: Why does my Portable Vault software appear as a Trial Version with a 200KB Limit?
Q: How do I convert my USB flash drive to a NTFS format?

Memory Upgrades

Q: How do I install memory into my desktop computer?
Q: How do I install memory into laptop computer?

USB Flash Drives FAQs

Q: Why can't I have access to the advertised capacity of the USB Flash drive?
A: Your USB Drive will have a smaller true capacity versus the advertised or marketing capacity due to the historical definitions of GB and MB, as well as Memory Management and Partition Accounting information utilizing some of the true capacity of your USB Drive. This discrepancy does not only apply to Flash Drives, but standard hard drives as well. Memory Management utilizes about 64KB out of every 1MB. The larger the card the larger the amount reserved. The following table shows the advertised capacity vs. the average true capacity.

Advertised Capacity Average True Capacity
64MB 61.2MB
128MB 120MB
256MB 241MB
512MB 495MB
1GB 984MB
2GB 1.91GB
4GB 3.82GB
8GB 7.59GB
16GB 15.1GB
32GB 30GB

Marketing or Advertised Capacity vs. True Capacity (Information provided by: wikipedia.org)

It is important to note that hard drive manufacturers often use metric definition of the prefixes "giga" and "mega." However, nearly all operating system utilities report capacities using binary definitions for the prefixes. This is largely historical, since when storage capacities started to exceed thousands of bytes, there were no standard binary prefixes (the IEC only standardized binary prefixes in 1999), so 210 (1024) bytes was called a kilobyte because 1024 is "close enough" to the metric prefix kilo, which is defined as 103 or 1000. This trend became habit and continued to be applied to the prefixes " mega," "giga," and even "tera." Obviously the discrepancy becomes much more noticeable in reported capacities in the multiple gigabyte range, and users will often notice that the volume capacity reported by their OS is significantly less than that advertised by the hard drive manufacturer. For example, a drive advertised as 200 GB can be expected to store close to 200 x 109, or 200 billion, bytes. This uses the proper SI definition of "giga," 109 and cannot be considered as incorrect. Since utilities provided by the operating system probably define a Gigabyte as 230, or 1073741824, bytes, the reported capacity of the drive will be closer to 186.26 GB (actually, GiB), a difference of well over ten gigabytes. For this very reason, many utilities that report capacity have begun to use the aforementioned IEC standard binary prefixes (e.g. KiB, MiB, GiB) since their definitions are not ambiguous.

Another side point is that many people mistakenly attribute the discrepancy in reported and advertised capacities to reserved space used for file system and partition accounting information. However, for large (several GiB) file systems, this data rarely occupies more than several MiB, and therefore cannot possibly account for the apparent "loss" of tens of GBs.

Q: How do I format the USB Flash drive?
A: To format the USB Flash Drive, use the following steps for your computer's operating system.

Windows
  1. Close any open applications, including anti-virus software, that may interrupt the format process.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon on the desktop.
  3. Right-click on the "Removable Disk" icon with the drive letter assigned to your Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive.
  4. With a Right-click, Select "Format" from the drop-down menu that appears.
  5. Optional: Type in a name in "Volume label" if you have more than one USB Flash Drive and prefer to assign names to differentiate them.
  6. Click on "Start" button. A warning notice appears that all data will be erased. Click "OK" button. The formatting will only take a few seconds, and a "Format Complete" notice will appear when the formatting is done.
  7. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive should be recognized by your system at this point. You can return to using your drive as before.
Mac OS X
  1. Close any open applications, including anti-virus software, that may interrupt the format process.
  2. Open your "Applications" folder and then open your "Utilities" folder.
  3. Double-click on "Disk Utility."
  4. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive will be listed to the left of the program by its capacity and with a drop down description that says "untitled." Click on the drive capacity listing to get the "Erase" options.
  5. Choose the "Mac OS Extended" format for the use with only Mac systems. Select "MS-DOS File System" format for the use with Mac and Windows systems.
  6. Click on the "Options" button and then check the box "Zero all data" to fully format the drive. Click "OK" to accept the selection.
  7. Click "Erase" to initiate the format process.
  8. Click "Erase" again to verify that you want to start erasing the drive.
  9. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive should now be mounted as "Untitled" on your desktop.
  10. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive should be recognized by your system at this point. You can return to using your drive as before.
Q: Why won't a drive letter show up in Windows XP for my USB Drive under "My Computer"?
A: If you plug in a new USB Flash Drive into your Windows XP system and it does not show up under "My Computer" with a drive letter, you may have a conflict with another drive in your system. This tends to occur when a computer has multiple hard drives or CD/DVD drives and one of them if assigned to drive letter "H". To change the drive letter, you will need to open "Disk Management."
  1. Click "Start", point to "Settings", click "Control Panel", double-click "Administrative Tools", and then double-click "Computer Management." In the console tree under "Storage", click "Disk Management."
  2. Right-click the USB Flash Drive, and then click "Change Drive Letter and Path."
  3. To modify a drive letter, click it, click "Edit", click the drive letter you want to use, and then click "OK."

    Note: An error message may appear when you attempt to assign a letter to a volume, CD-ROM drive, or other removable media device, possibly because it is in use by a program in the system. If this happens, close the program accessing the volume or drive, and then click the Change Drive Letter and Path command again.

    If your USB Drive does not show up under "Disk Management" and there are drives already assigned to "H", you may need to change that drive letter first. Then plug the USB Drive back into the computer to see if it appears. Now change the drive letter on the USB Drive and then change the original"H" drive back to an "H."

    There is also a possibility that the desired drive letter for your USB Drive may have been turned off. By downloading and installing a Microsoft PowerToy called TweakUI, you will be given access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more. Once you have installed this application, launch it through your "Control Panel" and click on the "My Computer" tab. If your desired drive letter is unchecked, check it at this time.
Q: I have multiple USB ports in my computer, which port should I plug my USB Drive into?
A: First, try plugging the USB Drive into the port that is most convenient for you. If your computer does not recognize your USB Drive, it maybe due to a lack of power provided from that specific port. USB ports located on keyboards or on the front of your computer may have insufficient power to run a USB Drive. Try using a port on the back of your system if the USB Drive is not being recognized.

Q: Why does my Portable Vault software appear as a Trial Version with a 200KB Limit?
A: If you have purchased a USB 2.0 Mobile Vault / Privacy Drive and the included Portable Vault file encryption software is showing as a trial version, the OEM license file may be missing. The best way to correct this problem is to re-install the application on the USB Flash Drive by following the below instructions:
  1. The USB Flash Drive will need to be formatted, so backup any files you may have saved to the unprotected section of the drive.
  2. From "My Computer", locate the "Privacy Drive" icon and single-click with the right mouse button. With the left mouse button, select "Format…" and the "Format Privacy Drive" window will be viewable.
  3. With the left mouse button, click the "Start" button then a select the "OK" button to format. Click the "OK" button once more and close the format window.
  4. Download the re-installation application and launch the "Portable Vault Installer" application. Click the "Next" button and select "Removable Disk" click the "Next" button again.
  5. Click the "Next" button to complete the installation and then click the "Exit" button.
  6. Once the LED on the flash drive has finished blinking, unplug the drive from your computer.
  7. Insert the USB flash drive back into your computer.
  8. The software should now be returned to its original state.
Q: How do I convert my USB flash drive to a NTFS format?
A: To convert your USB flash drive to a NTFS format, following the below instructions:

Converting to NTFS Using Convert.exe:
A partition can also be converted after Setup by using Convert.exe. For more information about Convert.exe, after completing Setup, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER. In the command window, type help convert, and then press ENTER.

It is easy to convert partitions to NTFS. The Setup program makes conversion easy, whether your partitions used FAT, FAT32, or the older version of NTFS. This kind of conversion keeps your files intact (unlike formatting a partition).

To find out more information about Convert.exe:
  1. After completing Setup, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
  2. In the command window, type help convert and then press ENTER. Information about converting FAT volumes to NTFS is made available.
To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt:
  1. Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.

Important:
Once you convert a drive or partition to NTFS, you cannot simply convert it back to FAT or FAT32. You will need to reformat the drive or partition which will erase all data, including programs and personal files, on the partition.


For more information about NTFS, see: www.microsoft.com.

Memory Upgrades FAQs

Q: How do I install memory into my desktop computer?
A: Note: The following instructions provide general installation and handling information for memory upgrades. These instructions are to be used in conjunction with your specific owner's manual.
  1. Turn computer off and disconnect the AC power cord if plugged in or installed.
  2. Locate the computer's memory expansion slot by following the instructions in its owner's manual.
  3. Before touching any electronic components, make sure you first touch an unpainted, grounded metal object to discharge any static electricity stored on your clothing or body.
  4. DIMM Installattion
    If all the slots are full, you will need to remove smaller capacity modules to allow room for higher capacity modules. To remove a module, locate the retaining clips on the sides of the expansion slot. Gently pull both clips away from the module, and then lift the module out of its expansion slot.
  5. Insert the module, lead first, into an available expansion slot. Note how the module is keyed to the slot. This ensures the module can only be inserted into the slot one way. Depending on the type of memory specified for your system, the number of keys may differ from the below illustration. Firmly press the module into position and making certain that the module is completely seated. The retaining clips will automatically snap into the locked position.

    Note: For most installations, the memory modules can be installed in any combination. However, there are some computers that require a specific installation sequence. See you system's owner's manual for more details.
  6. Repeat this procedure for any additional modules you are installing.
  7. If you have removed any parts of the system to access the memory expansion slot or slots, return then to their original positions at this time.
  8. Replace the AC power supply and any other cables you may have disconnected.
  9. Turn the computer on and follow the instructions in your computer's owner's manual for any steps required for your computer to recognize the newly installed memory.
Q: How do I install memory into laptop computer?
A: Note: The following instructions provide general installation and handling information for memory upgrades. These instructions are to be used in conjunction with your specific owner’s manual.
  1. SODIMM Installattion
    Turn computer off and disconnect the AC power cord and battery pack if plugged in or installed.
  2. Locate the computer's memory expansion slot by following the instructions in its owner's manual.
  3. Before touching any electronic components, make sure you first touch an unpainted, grounded metal object to discharge any static electricity stored on your clothing or body.
  4. If all the slots are full, you will need to remove smaller capacity modules to allow room for higher capacity modules. To remove a module, locate the retaining clips on the sides of the expansion slot. Gently pull both clips away from the module, and then lift the module out of its expansion slot.
  5. Insert the module, lead first, into an available expansion slot. Note how the module is keyed to the slot. This ensures the module can only be inserted into the slot one way. Depending on the type of memory specified for your system, the number of keys may differ from the below illustration. Insert the module into the slot at a slight (approx. 30°) angle and then push it down until it clicks into place. Note: For most installations, the memory modules can be installed in any combination. However, there are some computers that require a specific installation sequence. See you system's owner's manual for more details.
  6. Repeat this procedure for any additional modules you are installing.
  7. If you have removed any parts of the system to access the memory expansion slot or slots, return then to their original positions at this time.
  8. Replace the AC power supply, battery and any other cables you may have disconnected.
  9. Turn the computer on and follow the instructions in your computer's owner's manual for any steps required for your computer to recognize the newly installed memory.